Would you rather buy a cheaper fixer ($4k-ish) or a better condition fixer ($7k-ish)?

Would you rather buy a cheaper fixer ($4k-ish) or a better condition fixer ($7k-ish)?

  • Cheaper fixer

    Votes: 18 50.0%
  • More expensive fixer that needs less work

    Votes: 18 50.0%

  • Total voters
    36
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
102
I don't really know how to phrase this question, so I apologize. Here's my dilema and I need some guidance. Since I've been searching for FJ40's I've come across quite a few that are in ok shape for $4k-$5k but need work. I've also come across a couple that are in good rust-free shape for $7k-$8k but not restored. The cheaper ones are mostly original and the more expensive ones are usually lifted with tires and wheels but still need paint and such.

So here's the question. Would you rather buy a cheaper one that needs more work and go through it yourself, pretty much doing a full tub off resoration.

- or -

Would you rather buy a rust-free rig for $7k-$8k that just needs exterior paint and a few other things?

Now I'll give you my point of view on each. If I bought the cheaper one I could go through it myself and get an incredible understanding of the rig inside and out. It would be nice knowing that I went through and replaced everything myself and that everything is in good working order.

If I bought the more expensive one I could have it painted and be out driving it in a week, but who knows what it needs or is going to need mechanically. Honestly I don't really know why these people think they can get $3k more for a rig that still needs work, but I guess they are cleaner.

I'm just confused, I don't know what I want to do.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
2,636
Location
Greeley, Colorado
If it were me...I would go for the most stock, cleanest, rust free one I could find...

Mods are great if you know or can confirm they are done right. You don't want some Previous Owners hack job in there.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2004
Messages
2,257
Location
Taylorsville Utah
I would look into one with a better body, I can do my own mechanic stuff, I HATE body work.
But a nicer one for more $$$ would be the way to go
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
7,167
Location
McCall, ID
Yup, spend the money on the nicest (body rust-wise) and most unmolested you can. Never trust a PO's work until you can verify it.
 

Poser

Oh...Durka Durka Durka.
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Joined
Oct 1, 2003
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20,186
Location
MN
Start with something clean, period.
 

nuclearlemon

not an addict
Moderator
 
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
16,118
Location
meh-ico, colorado
i'd rather go with more money and cleaner, but unfortunately, i don't have more money, so all my cruisers save the 60 have been headaches.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
418
Location
PNW
I would be on the lookout for one that still has the original paint. Then you will know what the body really looks like. The mechanical stuff is easier to deal with in the long run. I don't like suprises, a shoddy prep job for the paint can get pricey to fix. Questions to ask if you do find one that you like and it is painted... Who did the work?, Do you have any pics of it before it was painted?, Do you have any pics during the prepping for paint?. I would walk away if someone says they don't have pictures before it was painted. (but thats just me).

Rigs similar to the 40's that Landpimp has are still around. I have seen a couple of them in the past two years in the 8-10k range. They sell very quick usaully.

There are a couple of things you should do before you get on the hunt for a rig.

Sit down and make a list of what are you going to use the truck for?

What are important things that you need? ie....disc brakes, power steering, lockers..........

The cost of things as simple as rims and tires can easily exceed 1k. a disc brake swap is easy and can be done correctly for a few hundred dollars. A decent paint job with the body stripped and sandblasted can be around 6k. Think about what is really important and if a truck you find does not have what you want what will it cost to get it.

Once you have answered your questions start looking on here, go to SOR's classifieds, CCOT's classifieds, cars.com, etc.....

The number one key to the whole thing is be patient the right rig will show up.
 

FineWynsFJ40

Eff-Jay-Farty
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Messages
1,382
Location
Spring Lake, MI
What about the quality of an old beater for the farm? Gotta think of all possibilities...

Nice clean one would be my target, or a cheap beater to mod and trail.
 

65swb45

Elder Statesman
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Joined
Apr 14, 2004
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818-953-9230
Pretty much agree with all of what was said above. I always try to steer my customers towards the ones with original paint and the best bodies AND the least modifications.

Whatever you do, don't buy one of those cheap fixer uppers like I did. I had to learn SO MUCH just to get it roadworthy, it ended up changing my life! ;)
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
880
Location
Olympia, WA
I agree with the others about finding the most rust-free body that you can. Also, do yourself a big favor and get one that is as complete as you can find with stock parts otherwise you will be chasing someone elses problems later.
 

Gus

SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
1,213
Location
Ridgway, CO
For me it would depend upon what the cruiser would be used for, if it's going to be completely restored or built up, a slighty worn rig would do fine, if it's goig to be your daily driver, spend the extra $$$$. I enjoy having to do some work on a new cruiser project (replacing old suspension , rebuilding/upgrading brakes, steering, etc. There are a few exceptions to my previous statement, fixing PO's "customizations" gets pretty aggrivating or if it's really rusty(like the majority of the body is trash).
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2004
Messages
2,973
Location
Clemson, SC
Just depends on how much money, time, and motivation you have. If you like gettin your hands dirty and you're gonna use it as a trail truck who cares what the body looks like, you're gonna beat it up on the trail any way. If you're gonna use it as a daily driver get one with a good frame. If the body has rust on it and you know how to weld or do bondo properly then that can be an easy fix. If I were to buy another one that I was gonna make 90% stock and pristine, I would still buy one like I did. Just so I could do all the work to fix it up. We have a guy in the club that has done 7 or 8, of these now and I saw the original pics of the last 3 he has done. I mean they weren't rust buckets but he put a lot of good work and time into makin these rigs bad ass. And you can see the pride he has for them. One is even his trail truck and it is a very nice set up. So it really boils down to your money, time, and motivation to work.

Good Luck
 
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